Generally speaking, I’ve been a fan of Cadillac’s stuff over the past few years. They make damn good cars that are fast and luxurious and stylish, even if they aren’t quite on the level of the Germans in some areas. But one major sticking point has been their CUE infotainment system and haptic touch panel for certain controls. It looks like the 2016 Cadillac CT6 is trying to fix some of that.
As a whole, the CT6 seems to have a better-designed and more premium interior than the CTS does, and that car was no slouch to begin with. (The ATS was another matter, in certain ways.) The car on display at the New York Auto Show is a preproduction prototype, not the final model, but right off the bat it’s impressive.
One thing I noticed during the car’s debut last night is that the giant, piano black center panel that features prominently on the CTS and ATS has been minimized quite a bit. It used to take up a huge amount of center real estate, now it’s been downsized and lowered to make room for that 10.2-inch touch screen.
For comparison purposes, here’s what a 2015 CTS looks like on the inside. I’m referring to the CTS’ control panel, which a lot of folks have described as looking like a Transformer’s head.
If you’ve never driven a CTS or ATS, you might not know that the control panel replaces buttons with areas that sort of vibrate when you push them. It works a lot better in practice than in theory.
Early versions of this CUE technology, which include the touch screen and infotainment system, were criticized for being slow and laggy and painful to use even by the standards of modern infotainment systems, most of which suck. Cadillac has implemented some CUE updates since then, but it’s still less than ideal.
The CT6 — which slots above the CTS — looks like it’s designed to address some of these complaints. The haptic panel is still there, but it’s not as prominent. Perhaps more importantly, the steering wheel has more a traditional array of actual buttons, which has to make it easier to operate stuff during driving.
I can’t speak to the updated CUE software itself because I didn’t get to play with it much, but Cadillac promises it will be faster and more responsive. There’s also a touchpad below and to the right of the shortened gear selector that lets you control some functions instead of having to use the touch screen.
Also, the outside of the car looks better in person than it does in photos. You’ll have to take my word on this, I guess. It’s definitely not a radical design, but they’re definitely doing a 3-Series/5-Series/7-Series family resemblance thing here compared to its smaller brothers in the Cadillac line.
The CT6 seems interesting so far. I look forward to driving one at some point. Hopefully I won’t want to put my fist through the CUE screen this time.
Photos credit Tavarish for Jalopnik
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